Food security and nutrition must be placed at the center of the international agenda for African development, officials of the United Nations food agencies have urged, adding that hunger must be eliminated by 2025. "The world has reduced the number of hungered people we've been doing (statistics) since 1990 to date from more than 1 billion to 870 million, but we still have obstacles," said director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Jose Graziano Da Silva, at a press conference held by the FAO, the International Fund for Agricultural development (IFAD) and the World Food Program (WFP) during the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V).
Ertharin Cousin, executive director of the WFP, called for special attention to improving global food security and empowering rural women, addressing gender inequalities and enabling them to transform their own lives and the lives of their families and communities.
According to the heads from the three organizations, the most effective key to reversing hunger and poverty in developing countries lay in responsible investment by governments and the private sector in sustainable agricultural and rural development.
They pointed out that in sub-Saharan Africa, GDP growth generated by agriculture had been shown to be eleven times more effective in reducing poverty than GDP growth in other sectors.
They also agreed that reduction of hunger, malnutrition and extreme poverty should remain at the core of the post-2015 agenda, following the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals.